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  • Writer's pictureJeremy Wampler

Improving Your Golf Game: How to Relieve Neck Pain and Strengthen Your Shoulder Blades

Updated: Aug 20, 2023

During the golf swing, it is necessary for our neck to rotate. As we execute a swing, our eyes typically remain fixed on the ball while our spine rotates. Consequently, this leads to a relative rotation of the neck. However, many people experience limited rotation in their necks, which can lead to various issues (you can evaluate your own neck mobility by clicking on the provided link). Nevertheless, this blog will not specifically discuss neck mobility; instead, it will concentrate on individuals who have normal neck rotation but still experience pain.




Many times, I find that the neck moves fine, but it lacks proper support from the surrounding muscles. Let's delve into this a little bit. A common cause of neck pain is the upper trapezius and levator scapulae muscles. These muscles not only attach to our spine but also to our shoulder blades. Therefore, the position and movement of our shoulder blades directly affect the muscles that attach to our spine.


Ok, let's take a look at how this applies to golf. When we swing a golf club, we need to raise our arms. During this movement, our shoulder blade is supposed to rotate upwards, allowing the shoulder to move naturally. However, it often happens that the shoulder blade doesn't perform this rotation and remains in a downward position. As we mentioned earlier, some of the muscles in our neck are connected to both the spine and the shoulder blade. So, when the shoulder blade doesn't move correctly, it puts extra strain on the muscles that attach to the spine, resulting in pain.


The shoulder blades are controlled by a group of muscles, but for the purpose of our discussion, let's focus on two specific muscles that often cause problems - the middle and lower trapezius muscles. These muscles play a crucial role in maintaining proper shoulder blade position and assisting in its rotation when we raise our arms. Unfortunately, during my assessments, I frequently find that people struggle with activating these muscles effectively or they lack sufficient strength. As a result, this can lead to heightened stress on our neck muscles.


Below, you will find a video that explains how to effectively test and train these muscles, which can help alleviate neck pain and improve your golf experience. However, it is crucial to consult a physical therapist to accurately diagnose if this is indeed your specific issue. Keep in mind that there could be various potential problems causing your pain. Additionally, I always recommend seeking advice from a medical professional before commencing any exercise program. Please note that the information provided should not be considered as medical advice.




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